10,000 Birds and BirdLife’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’

species champions logoIn January 2009 10,000 Birds proudly became the first blog in the world to join BirdLife International’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme‘ (PEP), as a ‘Species Champion’. On joining we made a three-year financial commitment, but of course plan that this commitment will become even longer-term.

This page gives information on BirdLife International, the Preventing Extinctions Programme, other PEP ‘Species Champions’, and links to any related information we post on the blog or find externally. Please feel free to use this information yourself if you find it useful, and please link back to this page.

Firstly, though, why did 10,000 Birds join BirdLife International’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’?

We joined BirdLife International’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’ for a number of reasons:

  • We wanted to make a statement that really expresses our passion for birds and for the world we live in, and that strengthens our commitment to conservation.
  • We wanted to associate ourselves with a world-class conservation organisation, one that we trusted and respected and that we could honestly recommend to our readers – BirdLife International was a natural choice.
  • We wanted to join a significant conservation campaign/programme that is provably achieving results on the ground.
  • We wanted to join a conservation campaign/programme that we felt would interest our readers and inspire them to become involved in.

Globally there are literally thousands of worthy conservation causes that require funding (and we’ll continue to promote as many as we can), but after discussions both amongst ourselves and with Jim Lawrence, BirdLife’s PEP Manager, we decided that the ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’ – which focusses on preventing the extinction of the world’s most Critically Endangered (CR) birds (currently 192 species as classified in the IUCN list of threatened species) – was a perfect fit for 10,000 Birds and the criteria listed above.

About BirdLife International:

birdlife international logoBased in Cambridge (UK), BirdLife International is a “global Partnership of more than 100 conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.”

BirdLife’s aims are to:

  • prevent the extinction of any bird species
  • maintain and where possible improve the conservation status of all bird species
  • conserve and where appropriate improve and enlarge sites and habitats important for birds
  • help, through birds, to conserve biodiversity and to improve the quality of people’s lives
  • integrate bird conservation into sustaining people’s livelihoods.

The BirdLife Partnership:

By focusing on birds, and the sites and habitats on which they depend, the BirdLife Partnership is working to improve the quality of life for birds, for other wildlife (biodiversity), and for people. BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide. Each NGO Partner represents a unique geographic territory and many people reading this may well be a member of one without even realising it. The UK partner, for example, is the RSPB. The US partner is Audubon. Canada’s is jointly Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada. Australia’s is Birds Australia.

BirdLife International’s ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme‘:

The following information is taken from BirdLife’s Preventing Extinctions Programme webpage:

The natural rate of bird extinction is one bird per century. In the last thirty years alone, 21 bird species have become extinct. At present, 190 are classified as Critically Endangered. On the very edge of extinction. Without immediate action, many will not be here in ten years’ time.

BirdLife’s work to evaluate and monitor the status of the world’s bird species began many years ago. We now know the threats that face every globally threatened bird, and the main conservation actions required to protect them.

The BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme is already delivering active conservation. To ensure the right protection is put into place we are appointing Species Guardians for each threatened species – organisations or individuals best placed to protect the bird.

We are actively recruiting Species Champions. These are a growing community of Companies, Institutions and Individuals who share our concerns and demonstrate their commitment to protecting the planet’s natural heritage by funding the work undertaken by our Species Guardians.

Species Champions:

species champions logoSpecies Champions are “a growing community of Companies, Institutions and Individuals who share our concerns and demonstrate their commitment to protecting the planet’s natural heritage by funding the work undertaken by our Species Guardians”.

There are different ‘levels’ of Species Champion (requiring different levels of financial commitment). Whilst we joined the PEP at a ‘lower level’ 10,000 Birds is now officially a Species Champion along with such conservation giants as Sir David Attenborough and the British Birdwatching Fair, conservation minded businesses like Swarovski Optik, In Focus, and WildSounds, and a small number of unsung individuals like Dr. Urs-Peter Stäuble, Ed Keeble, and Peter Smith.

Jim Lawrence

jim lawrenceJim Lawrence is Development Manager of the BirdLife ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’. He joined BirdLife in July 2007.

Prior to joining BirdLife Jim was a freelance Marketing and Management Consultant and has worked in Marketing, Advertising and Brand Management for 30 years. Twenty five years of his career were spent at Ogilvy, one of the world’s leading communications agencies. Here he worked with many Blue Chip clients but for twenty years his focus (sic) was helping the Ford Motor Company develops its brands throughout the world.

Jim has been a keen birder since his early childhood and is a well-known face on the British Birding Scene.

What are ‘Critically Endangered bird species’?

species champions logo‘Critically Endangered’ means that a species is at an extremely high risk of becoming extinct. 17 species have been downlisted from CR to other threat levels in recent years, but others have been ugraded and there are currently (as of June 2010) 190 Critically Endangered bird species. Two thirds of all CR species have declining populations.

Species considered Critically Endangered include Spix’s Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii (which is almost certainly extinct in the wild), Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eunorhynchus pygmeus (which has one of the fastest declining populations of any shorebird in the world), Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi (a declining endemic with a population of less than 500 individuals), and the Araripe Manakin Antilopha bokermanni (photo left (copyright Araripe Manakin Project). Only discovered in 1996 the species has a tiny range in eastern Brazil which is threatened by development).

Each and every single species is standing on the edge of extinction and will not survive without sustained conservation efforts like the ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’.

    birdlife preventing extinctions programme logo